Science

Watch out for these 4 symptoms of clogged arteries

The arteries within our bodies are essential for our health. If our system of arterial vessels isn't working properly, our organs won't receive the amount of blood they need to work properly either.

When someone has a heart attack, it's usually because their arteries are clogged as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Sometimes this means they need to exercise more, eat healthier food, or in extreme cases, a combination of both.

Clogged arteries can also cause stroke and a variety of cardiovascular diseases.

Although it can be difficult to identify whether or not your arteries are clogged, there are some signs you'll be able to notice on your own.

If you're able to notice any of these four signs, you should consider seeking medical attention before the problem gets worse.

1. Leg or Lower Extremity Pain

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a buildup of cholesterol or plaque that sits in the extremities.

You'll be able to notice some pain or discomfort in your legs or feet if you're suffering from PAD, and it may limit your ability to walk.

In very extreme cases, it could result in the loss of a leg or foot. If you have discomfort or pain in your legs, seek medical attention as soon as you can.

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2. Erectile Dysfunction

Clogged arteries results in the restriction of blood flow, which means males with erectile dysfunction could have more serious problems to worry about.

In order to achieve and maintain an erection, the body needs to be able to have a free-flowing supply of blood to the area in question.

If you're suffering from erectile dysfunction and aren't sure why, it may be time to see a doctor.

3. Pain in the Lower Back

The arteries located in the lower back are some of the first to accumulate plaque. Lower back pain could be one of the first signs of clogged arteries that your body will experience.

The reason you have pain in your lower back as a result clogged arteries is due to a lack of blood in the disks that cushion your vertebrae.

A lack of blood to this area will cause herniated disks and pinched nerves.

4. Calf Pain

This is different than PAD, which was listed earlier, and it's a result of arteriosclerosis. This is the thickening or hardening of the arterial walls, which blocks blood flow to the legs.

If this is happening to you, it's extremely common to have pain in one or both calves, which is a condition known as claudication.

People who smoke are at a higher risk of experiencing arteriosclerosis, and claudication as a result.

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